Lamb “Sausage” Burgers with Quinoa-Polenta Cakes
Recipe Redux – March, 2014: A Play on Patties
This is a great recipe for anyone that has been trying to keep a healthy diet, but really misses the taste of sausage. Traditional sausage links and patties are commonly loaded with fat and salt, which, if regularly consumed, could potentially spell out bad news for your heart health. But what really makes a sausage great is not the loads salt or fat, but instead the delicious spice blends used in its preparation.
With the right spice combo and some lean ground meat, you can easily make your own delicious sausage patties. This version uses lamb, but in your own kitchen you can also make sausage patties with lean beef, chicken, turkey or pork. Including some cayenne powder will give you a spicy patty; the recipe is delicious made without it too.
If using 93% or leaner meat, make sure to lightly spray your pan with olive oil spray so that the burger does not stick. I usually fry the Quinoa-Polenta Cakes right in the same pan as my burgers so that I have less to clean afterwards.
For even bolder flavor, heat the fennel seeds, paprika, mustard and cayenne in a dry pan over medium heat to toast the spices. Cool them before mixing with the ground lamb and herbs.
The pre-cooked polenta roll is really easy to find, as most stores carry it. Do buy the kind that also has quinoa mixed in the log, so that you get the extra nutrition and deliciousness. Tip:Slice through the polenta slowly, or the quinoa seeds will send your knife traveling in the wrong direction!
1/2 Pound Lamb, lean, ground
1 teaspoon Fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon Parsley, dried
1/4 teaspoon Smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon Mustard, dried, ground
1/4 teaspoon Oregano, dried
1/4 teaspoon Celery Seeds
1/8 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon Cayenne powder (optional)
Pinch of Salt
1/3 package Quinoa-Polenta roll, precooked, sliced into 4 discs
as needed Olive oil spray
Lemon-Cucumber Yogurt Sauce
4 small Baby cucumber slices
1 mini Red pepper, seeded and diced
1 small bunch Fresh parsley leaves
As needed Black pepper, fresh ground
Using your hands, in a small bowl mix together well the ground beef with the fennel, parsley, paprika, mustard, oregano, celery seed and cayenne (if using). Form 4 patties with the ground lamb. Sprinkle salt over the outside of the lamb patties.
Lightly spray a heated large fry pan with olive oil. Add the quinoa-polenta cakes and cook over a medium-high heat. After a couple minutes, add the lamb to the pan and grill until the cakes are heated through and the patties reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees. (The polenta should finish cooking first) Make sure to flip over everything half-way through cooking.
Place the quinoa-polenta cakes on a plate. Top each cake with a lamb patty. drizzle some lemon-cucumber yogurt sauce over each patty and top with a slice of cucumber, some diced red pepper and fresh parsely leaves. Grind some fresh ground pepper over the patty/cake stacks and serve.
Makes 4 stacks.
Serving size: 1 stack.